Captain Conan to peak at right time

05 February 2013 04:30:04 EST

Nicky Henderson discovered only one thing about Captain Conan that he didn't already know over the weekend - that he is most definitely a two-and-a-half miler.

The six-year-old battled his way to a Sandown victory which was far from convincing but showed that he may just have the qualities for a slog up the Cheltenham hill come the Festival.

Sometimes it's important to win ugly as was the case here.

Nicky Henderson

Captain Conan is 999/1 to win the Arkle Chase at Cheltenham next month while Overturn can be backed at 11/4 and Oscars Well at 999/1.

Captain Conan slugged it out over the uphill Sandown finish to finally grab victory from the jaws of defeat as Third Intention started to idle in front.

Which race he goes for at the Festival is still very much a matter of conjecture but Henderson said: "He confirmed he gets the two-and-a-half miles which is what I'd always thought.

"Sometimes it's important to win ugly as was the case here and let's remember when a horse is being trained for a March objective his performances may not be at a peak in January or February.

"It was sticky ground out there and he's a big horse so he'll get better from there. He's had to hang around for a long time waiting for an opportunity so I have to be happy with that.

"He jumped and galloped well and stayed, so all in all I'm quite pleased with that and we'll study the Festival options."

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